Taking certain drugs with juice could be dangerous

Do you take your medicine with juice?  It might be time to rethink that habit.

Professor David Bailey from the University of Western Ontario specializes in clinical pharmacology.  He has been involved in studies about how drugs interact with other things you put in your mouth, like herbal supplements and, of course, juice.

Orange juice

Doctors already caution their patients about taking grapefruit juice with certain medicines.  The fear is that the juice will actually enhance the drug – meaning you’ll get more of the drug than you should be getting, possibly causing an overdose.

But the new study had surprising results.  When taking an antihistamine with grapefruit juice, only about half of the drug was absorbed!  Far from an overdose, this was instead making the drug far less effective.

Bailey, the author of the study, is concerned about other juices that contain similar chemicals.  Orange juice and apple juice might have a similar effect – either decreasing the drug absorption or increasing it to dangerous levels.

Some drugs that might be affected include antihistamines (allergy headaches) and beta-blockers (often used for migraine prevention).

My medication?  I think I might just stick to water, unless my doctor says otherwise.

See the BBC report Fruit juice ‘could affect drugs’, the University of Western Ontario report Fruit juice restricts drug absorption.  via ChronicBabe.com

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  • Ajlouny Nov 9, 2008

    This reminds me that I haven’t had a cup of orange juice in forever. It’s so rich with vitamins. It’s is confusing on why it would have a negative effect on your medications.

  • James Nov 13, 2008

    Yes, well it’s like anything else, especially when it comes to drugs – certain combinations can make some drugs less effective. That can be other drugs, foods, etc that make a difference with absorbtion.